A human rights organization, HAKI Africa has launched a three-year climate justice for human security project to address violations of human rights relating to environmental justice and climate change.
The organization Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed said the initiative first goal is to enhance partnership between the community groups involved in environmental conservation and the national and county governments.
“We want to build resilience among community members who will be able to prepare for any natural calamity that may occur. We will also be able to address human rights abuse through environmental justice,’’ said Hemed during the launch of the project graced by Mombasa Deputy Governor Francis Thoya in Mkupe, Jomvu constituency, where 1000 mangrove seedlings were planted.
At the same time, the project will promote urban farming, where people will be given capital to start kitchen gardens.
Thoya said mangrove is a big resource which the community can tap into and benefit from through the selling of carbon credit to the international community.
The deputy governor said mangroves retain carbon and the same can be measured by professionals to determine the quantity.
“The more mangroves you plant means the more money you will earn. This effort to plant trees that the National Government has clearly embraced has great benefits,’’ he said.
Thoya called on Mombasa residents to plant mangroves so as to benefit from carbon credits similar to Lamu County.
“We have set aside an amount of about Sh20 million in the next financial year for the purchase of seedlings. As a government we want the money to benefit the community, people should start planting seedlings,’’ he said.
The county executive for Blue Economy, Fisheries and Agriculture Kibibi Abdalla urged communities living adjacent to the forest to preserve the mangrove forest because they are the spawning grounds for fish.
“If we preserve these mangroves, the first thing we will ensure is food security. If we destroy them that means sources of livelihood of our people will be in jeopardy,” she emphasized.
The Forest Conservator in charge of the Mkupe mangrove forest Hemedi Swaleh said they have intensified surveillance through boats and cooperation with Community Forest Associations (CFA) to protect the mangroves from illegal logging.
On his part, local fisherman Athman Mwero said the anticipated planting of mangroves will guarantee the availability of fish, since most fish use mangroves as the spawning ground.
“If many mangrove seedlings are planted, it means fish from the deep sea will come to these creeks to lay eggs and we are the ones to get a bumper harvest. If the trees are cut the fish will not be enough,” he said.
By Sadik Hassan